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from insurgents; but hostilities began ate of West Point—who at the outbreak there again," and culminated in the fierce of the Spanish-American war was profight of Lieutenant Febiger with fourteen fessor of military science in a well-known hundred Filipinos on the 24th of October. American university, writes from the
In the opinion of the army officer last Philippines to the president of that uniquoted above,“ the insurrection is stronger versity as follows: “ The greatest obstacle now than it was a year ago—not in the in the way of our success is the lack of number of organized insurgents, but by confidence which the natives have in us. virtue of the fact that the leaders have This is not surprising, as they have no learned their power, and found that it is definite and positive knowledge of the inpossible to collect taxes. It may end sud- tentions of the Government of the United denly, but it is apt to be long drawn out." States as to what is to be done with them.
In a subsequent letter, dated December It would be of the greatest benefit to all 6, the same officer writes: “A great deal concerned if there could be some declarawas expected from the Commission when tion, not by the President, not by a Comthey first arrived, but lately they do not mission, not by army officers, but by Conseem to occupy so important a place. gress, as to exactly what the GovernThey are bound to be handicapped, ment intends to allow the Filipinos to do. through inexperience, living in Manila, I see no reason to believe that the war, and regarding the Manilenos as typical as now carried on, will be ended for Filipinos. They are not; and one cause years. The Filipinos have killed and of complaint put forth against the Span- captured more of our men in the last eight iards was that, even when Spain sent out months than in the preceding year. Every officers of high rank, who were able and town has from ten to twenty-five prisonwilling to correct abuses, they, through ers, and commissions and provost courts ignorance, failed to do so ; that they lived are busy. All the penitentiaries are full, in Manila and knew nothing of the prov- and every Friday many are hung. If we inces. ... Under the most favorable are to conquer, it will be necessary to circumstances, it is not an easy task to give the natives some assurances, or to govern seven or eight millions of new adopt measures similar to those of Genpeople. Under present conditions exist- eral Weyler. It is a hard business, and ing here it is an enormous task; and yet, the sooner the United States gets out of with it all, I do not consider these people the present conditions the better. I as being very hard to govern."
believe we ought to say to these people An unusually capable and intelligent that in a certain number of years we inofficer of volunteers, who left the island tend to turn the islands over to the Filiof Luzon in December on account of ill pinos, and at that time they must try to health, and whose services have been work out their own salvation. In the warmly commended by Generals Wheaton, meantime give them every assistance. Bates, and MacArthur, said to me a few The government set up by the natives days ago : “I am of opinion that the would not be perfect, but it would answer resistance to our rule is general through- their purposes very well, and would cerout the archipelago. When I left the field tainly be as stable as any of the South there did not seem to me to be any mate- American governments. When all is rial change in the situation. At times known of the Filipinos, and our work in there would be a lull for a week or two, the past two years, there will be much of and then the attacks, surprises, ambus- which we cannot be proud. I hope the cades, and general disturbance would army will be reorganized, and increased begin again. My own opinion is that sufficiently to give force enough to do the resistance to our authority is likely to work which the Government has set for continue for an indefinite length of time ; us here; and I most sincerely hope that and this, I may add, is the opinion of all the Government will make some authorithe officers in the Philippines whom I tative declaration which will make it know. I think it may fairly be said that impossible for the natives to say that they we hold in the islands only the ground
do not know what to count upon. It that we command with our rifles."
seems to me that it is not unreasonable to An officer of the regular army-a gradu- say that there should be a force here
sufficient to enable officers who have been have taken the oath of allegiance. I have here two years or more to go home to already received two papers from native their families, for a time at least. The priests, eighteen in number, and I am told hopelessness of ever getting home is dis- that there will be a great many other tressing officers and men, and is having papers signed by a great many more native its effect on all of us."
priests, tendering their allegiance to the Nearly all the evidence that I have United States, and promising fidelity been able to get directly from the field without reserve. The native priests are supports the opinions expressed in the those who have held out longest in favor letters from army officers above quoted; of the insurgents and against the Ameriand high officials of the Government in cans, and I deem this action as of great Washington, who have better means than importance.” I of ascertaining the facts, regard the sit- In a telegram dated January 9, Judge uation very much in the same way. Said Taft adds: “Conditions are rapidly imone such official to me: “I am personally proving. Rifles, besides officers and priof opinion that our position in the Philip- vates, are being captured or surrendered pines is still serious and threatening, and daily, in considerable numbers, in northern that we have before us an extremely diffi- and southern Luzon. The same condicult task. My own correspondence indi- tions prevail in Panay, where more than cates that there has been as yet little per- 35,000 have taken the oath of allegiance. manent gain.”
The insurgent forces are completely scatThat this opinion is shared by many tered, and their leader, Delgado, is negowell-informed Congressmen appears from tiating for surrender. Work in Samar is the recent debate in the Senate on the slower because of an insurgent band's army reorganization bill. Senator Hale, long uncontested occupation of the intefor example, declared that he would vote rior, and the swollen streams early in the for the bill only because, if it were not campaign. The campaign in Samar has passed, there would be in the Philippines, driven bands into Leyte, producing disafter July next, only about twenty thousand turbance, but information is that conditions American soldiers. Pressed by Filipino there are favorable." forces, they might be hemmed in at Manila, About the middle of January, General and would be lucky if they were not driven Grant reported to General MacArthur that into the sea. “Without this bill," he his district had been fairly pacified, and said, “an almost immeasurable disaster that the province of Pampanga (Luzon) might befall our army.”
was ready for civil government. At the If conditions in the Philippines were same time General MacArthur telegraphed rapidly improving, and if we were likely the Adjutant-General as follows: to encounter there only the resistance that · Delgado, Commander-in-Chief Iloilo might be offered by a few skulking bands province, Panay, surrendered, January 11, of guerrillas, this declaration would have to Robert P. Hughes, Brigadier-General been received with laughter and derision, of Volunteers, with four officers, twentybut the Senate evidently did not regard one men, fourteen rifles. His command it as a proper subject for such treatment. much scattered. Other surrenders ex
The testimony on the other side of this pected during the next few days. Imporquestion—that is, the evidence which goes tant; signifies end of organized armed to show that we are making substantial resistance Iloilo province, Panay." progress in the Philippines--is mainly It appears, however, from a telegram contained in the first detailed report of dated Iloilo, January 17, that the insurthe Taft Commission, and in letters and gent Generals Pulion, Dicena, and Quintelegrams of later date from its President. tin Sala were still holding strong positions It is entitled to serious consideration. in the mountains of Capiz, on the island
In a letter to the Secretary of War dated of Panay, and that Battery G, of the Sixth Manila, December 14, Judge Taft says: Light Artillery, with a considerable force “Since writing you, about three thousand of infantry, was endeavoring to dislodge insurgents in Ilocos Norte have surren- them and compel them to fight an open dered, and ten thousand persons who engagement. were not well affected toward us in Panay General Young reports that in his district, at Santa Maria, on the 2d of the other islands are nominally pacified ; January, 2,180 Katipunans, including there is a fairly strong peace party in 1,900 sworn bolomen, renounced connec- Manila ; and a large body of natives in tion with the insurrection and swore alle- the provinces are tired of the war and giance to the United States. “ It will be would submit to any government capable necessary, however,"General Young adds, of restoring order and protecting property “to occupy all pueblos and patrol all the and life. On the other hand, most of the barrios to protect these people against islands and a large majority of the provthe vengeance of Tagalog le: lers." inces still maintain an attitude of hostility;
Upon these reports of pacification and bands of guerrillas still harass our armies surrender the Taft Commission, appar- in the field, and are concealed, aided, and ently, bases its assertion that "conditions supported by the nominally peaceful and are rapidly improving."
friendly population ; we are unable to It would be easier to give implicit cre- give security to life or protection to propdence to optimistic statements from Manila erty in any territory not occupied by our if experience had not shown that judg- troops; and we hold in secure and undisments formed there are apt to be colored puted possession only the ground that by the wishes and hopes of commissions may be swept by the fire of 60,000 soland commanders. The Schurman Com- diers in 430 garrisoned posts. If this mission reported in 1899 that when they seems too pessimistic a view of the situaleft Manila " the disintegration of the tion, I can only say that it is the view enemy's forces was steadily progressing taken by the army officers whose stateand that “the hope of assistance from ments and letters I have quoted, and outside sources seemed to be all that held whose opportunities for observation have them together."
been better, perhaps, than those even of General Otis said in his report dated the Taft Commission. May 14, 1900 : “ I am convinced, from I am glad to turn from this aspect of observation, investigation, and the ex- the Philippine question to a consideration pressed opinion of the educated men of of the civil and political situation, which the islands, that the declared guerrilla offers much more that is encouraging and warfare will cease within a few months." satisfactory. The extremely able and In an article published later in “ Leslie's businesslike report of the Taft CommisWeekly” he declared that “there will sion, and the good judgment and clearbe no more real fighting in the Philippines. headed sagacity shown by it in all its Peace is practically restored all through dealings with civil and political problems, the islands."
give us every reason to hope and believe Even the Taft Commission, in its report that if Congress and the President see fit of August 20, 1900, asserted positively to endow it with plenary powers, and if that “if the election confirms the present the Filipinos recognize its authority and policy, the insurrection will disappear give it their loyal support and co-operawithin sixty days."
tion, it will set up a government in the Is there any good reason to believe Philippines of which we shall have no that the optimistic statements which come reason to be ashamed. Although hamfrom Manila now are more trustworthy pared and embarrassed to some extent by than the reports of the Schurman Com- the military arm, and restricted in its mission in 1899, of General Otis in May, operations both by its own limited legisla1900, and of the Taft Commission in tive powers and by the passive or active August last? I I sincerely hope that there hostility of the people, it has set about is, but I am afraid there is not.
the reorganization of the courts; preUpon a careful review of all the evi- pared a new code of civil and judicial dence that I have been able to gather, I procedure; adopted a comprehensive and am forced to the conclusion that, while rigid system of civil service rules; investhe military situation in the Philippines is tigated thoroughly the question of the better than it was a year ago, it is still friars and their lands; devised a new serious enough to justify anxiety and and greatly improved scheme of taxation; apprehension. The island of Negros and increased the revenues of the islands and perhaps half a dozen provinces in to such an extent as to make possible the
immediate expenditure of $1,000,000 for honest government. We trust her, accépi her public roads, $1,000,000 for harbor im- sovereignty, and pray for her protection." provements, and $1,500,000 for public edu
TAFT. cation. With the aid and co-operation of This telegram reached the Secretary of the army, it has opened about one thou- War on the eve of the Presidential elecsand schools, has set up municipal gov- tion, but it was not given to the press, for ernments in about three hundred pueblos the reason, I understand, that, in the judgor townships, and is now preparing to ment of the President and his advisers, it organize higher forms of administrative might be regarded as an attempt to influcontrol in all provinces where the natives ence public opinion, at the eleventh hour, are quiet or submissive enough to render in favor of the Administration and its such action possible.
Philippine policy. I do not think, myself, The Commission has also succeeded in that the American people, even in the last winning the confidence of a part of the hours of an exciting political campaign, Filipino people, including a number of would have regarded Judge Taft as capaAguinaldo's former leaders, and in Octo- ble of lending his name to such a scheme, ber last, with the encouragement and or the President as willing to profit by it; approval of the Commission, there was but, be that as it may, the publication of organized in Manila a pro-American the statement was thought to be inoppornative party, which has since become tune at that time, and the despatch was known as “the Federals.” I have no laid aside and finally buried in the files of means of ascertaining the strength of this the War Department. It would be interparty or of estimating the value of its esting to know the history of this docuprofessions of loyalty ; but I find in the ment at the Manila end of the line; but I files of the War Department an appeal see no reason to doubt the sincerity and made by its leaders to the people of the good faith of the signers. The proposiUnited States, which has never been pub- tion to organize a counter-revolution is a lished, and which seems to me to be inter- characteristic Cuban and Filipino method esting and significant. It is embodied in of restoring peace to a distracted and warthe following despatch from Judge Taft : torn country! [BY CABLE]
Since the date of this statement, the Manila, November 4, 1900.
Federal party seems to have gained greatly To the Secretary of War:
in strength and influence, and a few days I am urgently requested by Buencamino, ago (January 28) Mr. Frye, as presiding the insurgent Secretary of State; Artacho, officer of the Senate, laid before that body the Secretary of Commerce; Macabulos and a telegram from a number of Federal Droma, prominent insurgent Generals; Yangco, the chief financial supporter of the insur
E leaders asserting that the party was regent cause; and seven other prominent Filipino ceiving accessions by the thousands in all merchants and former insurgents, representing parts of the archipelago, and that its many others, to forward the following signed efforts to bring about peace would soon statement to the American people :
be crowned with success if Congress [STATEMENT]
would give the President authority to “We hear reports from America that all
establish a purely civil government in the the Filipino leaders, and the Filipino people, desire to change the actual government for the
Philippines at the earliest opportune government of Aguinaldo and his followers. moment. We positively deny this affirmation, and de Upon a review of the civil and political clare, in the name of the majority of the people, situation in the Philippines. I can see and especially in the name of the intelligent and wealthy classes, that to hand over the
nothing that deserves hostile criticism, government of the islands to Aguinaldo and his
to Aguinaldo and his and much that is hopeful and encouraging. followers would be to hand over the govern- The Taft Commission is doing its work ment to the robbers, assassins, and abduc
thoroughly, efficiently, and intelligently, tors of the honest, peaceable people. We affirm that the war should be quickly termi
and if it only had plenary power from
an nated and American sovereignty established Congress and the full confidence and in all the archipelago. We will aid in this unanimous support of the Filipino people, event, to the extreme of organizing a counter
it would give the latter-in the words of revolution, if desirable. We offer our cooperation in this, because we are convinced
the Federal leaders—“ a liberal, just, and that America will give us a liberal, just, and honest government."